The weekend of coming together with some college friends has arrived and I am driving into Boston. There is a lockdown in effect in order to find the remaining marathon day bomber still at large, and lots of doom and fear being delivered with the news. I finally turn the news off and readjust to knowing it will be okay to get to where I am going in the North End, the motivation to get there is strong and so here I am. Feeling the familiar road under me, I am reminiscing about all the years I made this drive as a resident of Boston during graduate school and beyond, a particularly romantic time of my life on every level. It is where I was able to discover my gifts as an architect and transition to an independent life living alone in a spectacular studio apartment overlooking the Boston Common. It is where I fell in love over and over again. Boston became the stage for courtship with the man I would eventually marry…
I have brought a bottle of tequila with me to celebrate. My ‘spirit’ of choice these days, it has to be good quality tequila, chilled to drink on its own with just a squeeze of fresh lime. My brother is the true connoisseur, and has trained me to appreciate the virtues of this spirit consumed this way. It is a strong spirit that brings a promised glow and release and yet allows me to still feel my own strength and clarity, unlike other spirits that tend to create a soft blurring quality in whatever experience I am having. So now I am thinking about this naming of alcohol as ‘spirits’, how perfectly it captures the quality of connecting to something beyond the small world of self that lives in our head. ‘Spirits’ remind us that our bodies are tightly wound to this small world and that it might actually be healthy to aid the body to remember how to make a connection to something (spirits) beyond, whether with food or drink or sex or exercise or even meditation!
So, I am headed into a reunion that will undoubtably involve partaking in many of these activities. We drink champagne together to celebrate the new home on this precious strip of waterfront in Boston’s North End where Kim and Dave have realized a dream that they now share with us. We share luscious meals, from the perfect quiche that Kim makes the first morning (so perfect even without the mushrooms and onions she said were missing, smile), to memorable authentic Italian cuisine in local restaurants (omg…the asparagas risotto!!), to beloved fish & chips, large pieces of fresh haddock that I know has come from the sea I can smell in the air I am breathing. We take long walks together,
some sauntering through the historic streets and decades of memories for many of us, and brisk invigorating walks along the harbor and through parks.
We do yoga together! (another smile). We talk and talk and talk in an easy catharsis that speaks of familiarity and trust and love, even if thirty three years away. And we revel in the spirit of Boston together, how visceral it is right now, how easy it is to touch the very heartbeat of this city and history and community in such a poignant way after such a dramatic week.
It is just us girls now and after dinner we each prepare a spirit of choice
and head up to the roof deck for a look. The lights of the city are both far away and so close, each one like a flickering spirit of its own…..
We snap pictures of each other, each with our own little i-phone cameras, trying to capture the spirit of the moment…
And then breathe the cool night air, sip our spirits quietly, and know these moments are special and fleeting and enduring….